Jerry Jones on tanking: You can play young players, but the effort has to be there

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The Cowboys’ fortunes have fallen so far since Dak Prescott‘s injury that there’s now talk that the Cowboys might be better off giving up on this season and prioritizing a higher pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Jerry Jones doesn’t quite see it that way.

Jones said he could see prioritizing younger players with an eye toward the future, but those young players have to be playing to win, not to improve next year’s draft pick.

“Tanking has nothing to do with the performance of a player, the performance of a coach, the performance of getting better, the performance of the things you do to try to win the ballgame in my mind,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “Could you make a decision to play a younger player more or a player that you’re going to be pretty firm that you’re going to be going forward with in contract wise than a different situation? And the answer is I can see that. Yeah. I can see that you make sure that you get these guys those reps. The only way to have and get better in the NFL is for reps, and game reps are precious, hard to come by.”

Jones said part of wisely building a franchise is always going to be making sure your young players are getting experience.

“I think it makes you see more young players — maybe should be doing it anyway, candidly in regard to that definition of tanking. You maybe should be playing in football, you maybe should be playing those players out there anyway,” Jones said.

With two wins already, the Cowboys are unlikely to end up with the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, even if they actively try for it. But they may find themselves in a position over the second half of the season where they’re prioritizing younger players and thinking more about the future than the present.

23 responses to “Jerry Jones on tanking: You can play young players, but the effort has to be there

  1. There is nothing wrong with tanking unless you are a fan who is paying to attend the game. In which case you probably knew what was happening before you bought the ticket.

    It’s the right move for the Cowboys.

    At least we aren’t still having the discussion that there is no such thing as tanking.

  2. When you play young players, the effort is always going to be there. They’re playing for their jobs and their careers. Seasoned vets are more likely to mail it in when the season is lost. Jerry SHOULD know this. I think he’s revealing that he’s in over his head now. He has the coach he wants and thought he had the roster he wants, and the team is stinking up the league. The final straw may be when they lost the Thanksgiving game to Washington.

  3. Jerry builds teams with as much star power on the starting 22 as possible, particularly at the skill positions. The salary cap therefor limits his, and every other teams ability to build quality depth. If everyone is healthy then he usually has a pretty competitive team. However, it only takes a few key injuries to get the mess he has now. Other teams have as many, if not more injuries and are far more competitive than Dallas is.

  4. Time to pass the baton, Jerry. True, nobody could have foreseen the Dak injury but you weren’t winning before that and it’s WAY past time. You’re on your 15th re-build, give or take, and for those of us who have been Cowboys fans forever, we are DONE with you. You lose on style points alone.

  5. phillycheez says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:24 am
    Jerry builds teams with as much star power on the starting 22 as possible, particularly at the skill positions. The salary cap therefor limits his, and every other teams ability to build quality depth. If everyone is healthy then he usually has a pretty competitive team. However, it only takes a few key injuries to get the mess he has now. Other teams have as many, if not more injuries and are far more competitive than Dallas is.
    ____________

    Not to make excuses, but Dallas lost the most important player on its team (Dak), along with two monsters on the offensive line.

    Take Wentz, Johnson, and Kelce off the Eagles and see how Hurts does with the offense.

  6. Giving young players reps in a season like this is definitely a good thing, but if these guys are putting forth maximum effort and the team loses every week then it can create a toxic locker room. Team leaders need to be there and make sure everyone stays positive and works toward the same goals and aren’t pointing fingers and trying to find blame.

  7. bkinacti0n says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:58 am
    phillycheez says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:24 am
    Jerry builds teams with as much star power on the starting 22 as possible, particularly at the skill positions. The salary cap therefor limits his, and every other teams ability to build quality depth. If everyone is healthy then he usually has a pretty competitive team. However, it only takes a few key injuries to get the mess he has now. Other teams have as many, if not more injuries and are far more competitive than Dallas is.
    ____________

    Not to make excuses, but Dallas lost the most important player on its team (Dak), along with two monsters on the offensive line.

    —–

    Those sound like excuses

  8. bkinacti0n says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:58 am
    phillycheez says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:24 am
    Jerry builds teams with as much star power on the starting 22 as possible, particularly at the skill positions. The salary cap therefor limits his, and every other teams ability to build quality depth. If everyone is healthy then he usually has a pretty competitive team. However, it only takes a few key injuries to get the mess he has now. Other teams have as many, if not more injuries and are far more competitive than Dallas is.
    ____________

    Not to make excuses, but Dallas lost the most important player on its team (Dak), along with two monsters on the offensive line.

    Take Wentz, Johnson, and Kelce off the Eagles and see how Hurts does with the offense.
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Meanwhile, the Washington Football Team, without the QB that started the season for them and without two offensive linemen, two receivers and TE, walked all over the Cowboys. Maybe instead of drafting a WR in the first round after just signing Cooper to a $100 million contract, they could’ve drafted their highest needs… CB, Safety and DE.

  9. bkinacti0n says:
    Not to make excuses, but Dallas lost the most important player on its team (Dak), along with two monsters on the offensive line.
    ==

    The Cowboys had exactly one victory this season when Dak Prescott was still playing, and that’s only because the Falcons became the Keystone Cops while trying to field an onside kick that all of America knew was coming.
    With Prescott as the starter — and most of the line intact — the Cowboys could muster only an 8-8 season in 2019, losing out on the division title and missing the playoffs when they couldn’t beat a mediocre and injury-decimated Eagles team on the last day of the regular season.
    In 2018, behind Prescott and a mostly healthy line, Dallas went 10-6 and lost in the divisional round.
    Prescott puts up a lot of gaudy stats. True, Dallas did score a lot more points, and the games were closer with him under center. But the Cowboys were still not consistently winning, or more importantly, enjoying postseason success.
    To suggest they would have been a deeper, winning team had they not lost Prescott or two more starters on the line is to ignore facts and history, making your premise sound an awful lot like an excuse.

  10. If JJ were smart he’d trade that high draft pick for more picks to fill some holes … that Oline is done you lost your window , the new triplets are done you missed that window … and stop drafting players with bad character. I’m a WFT fan I’d like to see this division to be the NFC Beast again … in my life time would be nice 👍

  11. Jerry may make many mistakes. But, he is right, to the point that any tanking should be an organizational concern (if they choose to tell the coach to play younger players), but that coaches and players should go all out to win while they are on the field.

  12. bkinacti0n says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:58 am
    phillycheez says:
    November 4, 2020 at 8:24 am
    Jerry builds teams with as much star power on the starting 22 as possible, particularly at the skill positions. The salary cap therefor limits his, and every other teams ability to build quality depth. If everyone is healthy then he usually has a pretty competitive team. However, it only takes a few key injuries to get the mess he has now. Other teams have as many, if not more injuries and are far more competitive than Dallas is.
    ____________

    Not to make excuses, but Dallas lost the most important player on its team (Dak), along with two monsters on the offensive line.

    Take Wentz, Johnson, and Kelce off the Eagles and see how Hurts does with the offense.
    ——-
    This hurts my heart to type but didn’t those same Eagles lose many key cogs in 2018, including their star QB, when their backup QB went on to win the SB?

  13. I don’t think tanking is an issue. Dallas can play with everyone on the roster out there, as they have been, and be a terrible team. Problem solved.
    Play the games and at the end of the year you will have 4 wins and pick in the top 8.
    The weird thing is, every team in the NFC East can say and do the same thing. If they didn’t play each other there wouldn’t be 8 wins in the entire division.

  14. Ezekiel Elliott is signed through 2026…..let that sink in. His extension hasn’t even kicked in yet.

    Elliott’s agent needs to be inducted into the hall of fame.

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